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The reference to Mount Gerizim derives from the Biblical story of Moses ordering Joshua to take the Twelve Tribes of Israel, to the mountains by Shekhem (Nablus) and place half of the tribes, six in number, on Mount Gerizim, the Mount of the Blessing, and the other half on Mount Ebal, the Mount of the Curse. Samaritans claim they are Israelite descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) by the Assyrians in 722 BCE.The two mountains were used to symbolize the significance of the commandments and serve as a warning to whoever disobeyed them (Deut. Samaritan historiography places the basic schism from the remaining part of Israel after the tribes of Israel conquered and returned to the land of Canaan, led by Joshua.Conversions to Islam took place as well, Most Samaritans in Holon and Qiryat Luza today speak Hebrew and Arabic.For liturgical purposes, Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic, and Arabic are used, all written with the Samaritan alphabet, a variant of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, which is distinct from the Hebrew alphabet.‎) are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant originating from the Israelites (or Hebrews) of the Ancient Near East.Ancestrally, Samaritans claim descent from the tribe of Ephraim and tribe of Manasseh (two sons of Joseph) as well as from the Levites, who have links to ancient Samaria (now constituting the majority of the territory known as the West Bank) from the period of their entry into Canaan, while some suggest that it was from the beginning of the Babylonian captivity up to the Samaritan polity under the rule of Baba Rabba.

The Talmud accounts for a people called "Cuthim" on a number of occasions, mentioning their arrival by the hands of the Assyrians.When the Great High Priest Ozzi learned of this, and found the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him; and it is (even) said that he rebuked him.Thereupon he and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. He sent to their leaders saying to them, Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me.Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there; he constructed a place like the Temple (on Mount Gerizim).He built an altar, omitting no detail—it all corresponded to the original, piece by piece.